Richmond – Victoria 2018

ALP 1.9% vs GRN

Incumbent MP
Richard Wynne, since 1999.

Geography
Inner Melbourne. Richmond covers most of the City of Yarra, covering the suburbs of Abbotsford, Burnley, Clifton Hill, Collingwood, Fitzroy, Richmond and parts of Fitzroy North.

History
Richmond was first created as a two-member district in the first Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1856. Both seats were held by unaligned members until 1889, when one of the two seats was won by the ALP.

In 1904, Richmond became a single-member district. It was first won by unaligned member George Bennett, who had been one of the two members for Richmond since 1889.

In 1908, the ALP’s Edmond Cotter won Richmond. He held it continuously from 1908 until 1945. In 1945, Richmond was won by Stan Keon, who left in 1949 to take the federal electorate of Yarra. He went on to be expelled from the Labor Party in 1955 and helped found the Democratic Labor Party.

In 1949, Richmond was won by Frank Scully, also of the ALP. He served as an assistant minister in the Cain government until 1955, when he left the ALP as part of the split that saw the creation of the Democratic Labor Party. He won re-election in Richmond in 1955 and became leader of the DLP in the Victorian Parliament from 1955 to 1958, when he lost the seat to the ALP’s Bill Towers. The ALP has held the seat ever since.

Towers held the seat until 1962, when he was succeeded by Clyde Holding. Holding became leader of the Victorian ALP from 1967, losing the 1970, 1973 and 1976 elections. In 1977 he moved to the federal seat of Melbourne Ports, and served as a minister in the Hawke government, and retired in 1998.

Richmond was held from 1977 to 1988 by Theo Sidiropoulos, and was won in 1988 by Demetri Dollis. In 1999, Dollis was disendorsed by Labor leader Steve Bracks, and was replaced by former Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Richard Wynne.

Wynne served in a variety of frontbench roles in the Bracks and Brumby governments.

Wynne faced serious challenges for his seat in 2002, 2006 and 2010 by the Greens. In 2010, Wynne’s primary vote dropped by 9%, and would have likely lost the seat to the Greens barring a decision by the Liberal Party to preference Labor over the Greens. Wynne suffered a further swing in 2014, but managed to win a fifth term.

Candidates

Assessment
Richmond will be fiercely contested. Richmond is now surrounded by Greens seats on three sides, and the margin of 1.9% is anything but safe. The Greens will be buoyed by the 2017 Northcote by-election swing, but the recent result in Batman is a reminder that a swing to the Greens is not inevitable.

2014 result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Richard Wynne Labor 13,34933.3-3.9
Kathleen Maltzahn Greens 12,61531.5+2.9
Weiran Lu Liberal 8,30820.7-2.0
Stephen JollyIndependent3,4078.5-0.2
Nevena SpirovskaSex Party1,3363.3+0.5
Miranda SmithAnimal Justice5781.4+1.4
Sarah KnightFamily First3170.8+0.8
Tom KeelIndependent1920.5+0.5
Informal1,5503.7

2014 two-candidate-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Richard Wynne Labor 20,79851.9-4.5
Kathleen Maltzahn Greens 19,30448.1+4.5

2014 two-party-preferred result

CandidatePartyVotes%Swing
Richard Wynne Labor 29,30373.1+2.7
Weiran Lu Liberal 10,79926.9-2.7

Booth breakdown

Booths in Richmond have been divided into three parts: central, north and south.

Labor won a large 58% two-candidate-preferred majority in the south, while the Greens won smaller majorities of around 51-53% in the centre and north.

The Liberal Party came third, with a vote ranging from 12.6% in the centre to 26.6% in the south.

Voter groupLIB prim %ALP 2CP %Total votes% of votes
South26.658.210,01425.0
North15.348.56,63516.5
Central12.647.46,42816.0
Other votes22.446.97,92119.8
Pre-poll22.454.99,10422.7

Election results in Richmond at the 2014 Victorian state election
Toggle between two-candidate-preferred votes and Liberal primary votes.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Maltzahn has been a very controversial candidate choice, to the point that a sizable portion of rank and file Greens say that they won’t support her. Do you reckon this unpopularity factor might have something to do with Richmond staying (closely) Labor, especially given that Bandt dominated nearly all the booths in the area in 2016?

  2. If anyone other than Kathleen Malzahn was standing as the Greens candidate, almost anyone, I’d chalk this up as an almost certain Greens gain. She simply does not have the wide appeal and her controversial social views don’t appeal in a progressive electorate such as this. In light of this, and the fact that there is significantly more high profile opposition to her than in the past, I predict this will be retained by Labor.

    Over the last two Federal Elections, Adam Bandt won every single polling place in this area. At the 2014 State Election, Malzahn lost most of them – I suspect a lot of those who voted Greens at the 2013 Federal Election lodged a protest vote against Malztahn by voting for the Sex Party and Stephen Jolly in 2014, before returning to the fold at the 2016 Federal Election and I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a large protest vote against the Greens again in 2018. It boggles the mind that they’d continue to shoot themselves in the foot like this.

  3. Another seat where you wonder if the rising Green tide will finally reach the threshold. Incumbency may be the one thing that saves Richmond for Labor.

  4. Does anyone know if the Libs are going to stand here? The libs have selected candidates for strong ALP seats like Footscray, Kororoit and melton (for example) but nothing for here and Brunswick and nominations close in little over three week.

  5. I think Batman 2018 proved that the Greens can’t just sail in with demographic change; both the Labor and Greens candidate choice matters.

    This is why, despite great showings in Melbourne 2016 (aside from Ascot Vale, Richmond was arguably the least strong Greens area in the electorate) the Greens performed relatively poorly in 2014. Many in the Greens are unhappy about the choice, and would prefer that a more progressive candidate would run. I imagine that many will vote Greens for the Upper House but vote Labor in the Lower, either directly or through a minor party preference.

  6. Sandbelter – I don’t believe so. Sitting out of marginal ALP v Greens contests like Northcote, Brunswick & Richmond (which is seen to help the Greens) is a tactical move to force the ALP to put more resources into contesting those seats, resources which could otherwise be used in marginal ALP v LIB seats.

    Safe ALP seats like Footscray, Melton & Kororoit don’t have that tactical reason to sit out of because the ALP don’t have a legitimate threat from either side to have to spend much protecting themselves from.

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